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OJEN’s 20th Anniversary

Going into 2022, we set a fundraising goal of $20,000. We are asking OJEN’s friends and supporters to make this special anniversary year a success! As a charitable, nonprofit organization, OJEN depends on grants from foundations and a small amount of project-based funding from government agencies. Donations from individuals can be directed to where there is great need, but no funding source. They can make the difference between offering a valuable program or turning down requests for our public legal education initiatives.

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Make a gift to our 20th anniversary campaign and support programs that inspire, educate and empower youth. Donations of $20 and over will receive a tax receipt and will be recognized on the virtual 20th Anniversary Donnor Wall.

 

Highlights from the last 20 years

The Ontario Justice Education Network (OJEN) is incorporated with Ontario’s three Chief Justices, Chief Justice Roy McMurtry, Chief Justice Patrick LeSage, Chief Justice Brian Lennox, as its founding directors.

The first Summer Law Institute (SLI) is held in Toronto, and 30,000 students visit Ontario courthouses as part of OJEN’s Courtrooms & Classrooms program.

The Ontario Trillium Foundation funds OJEN’s outreach to specific communities of youth, including Indigenous, newcomer, racialized and Francophone youth.

OJEN’s pilot justice education project with the Toronto Community Housing Corporation becomes an ongoing outreach program for youth living in TCHC communities; a new partnership with Nishnawbe-Aski Legal Services provides youth-focused justice education programs on Circuit Court visits to Indigenous communities in northwestern Ontario.

OJEN opens an office in Ottawa in partnership with L’Association des juristes d’expression française de l’Ontario (AJEFO).

OJEN celebrates its 5th anniversary; 55,000 students visited Ontario courthouses; nine OJEN committees were active around the province; OJEN produced two multi-module teaching resources: “Making the Case: Mock Hearing Toolkit” and “Justice and the Media.”

OJEN launches a new website and new logo. The Youth Challenge Fund provided funding for pilot justice education projects within Toronto’s priority neighbourhoods.

OJEN adopts a new 7 year strategic plan. OJEN partnered with the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) to develop “Trailblazers,” a day-long program for girls interested in careers in law.

OJEN develops a new multi-module teaching resource on “Policing and Society.” OJEN grows to include 14 staff members and 12 local committees.

OJEN makes submissions to the Ontario Ministry of Education as part of their Social Studies and Canadian and World Studies curriculum review.

300 people help OJEN celebrate its 10th anniversary at a gala at the Steam Whistle Brewery.

OJEN pilots a new family law justice education program for young mothers, and expands its Francophone youth outreach to include community-based public legal education programs for youth with intersecting areas of vulnerability.

OJEN develops and pilots its “Access to Justice” role playing game, and partners with the Ontario Bar Association to launch the OBA-OJEN Mock Trial (OOCMT) program.

OJEN pilots a new Youth-Police Dialogues program with funding from the City of Toronto, and staff move into new shared office space with Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO).

OJEN and CLEO co-host a two-day conference that explores public legal education and the access to justice movement. The newly renovated ojen.ca website is launched.

The Justice Education Fellowship program for Ontario law school students is launched. Staff and volunteers deliver justice education programs for youth in a total of 95 communities throughout Ontario over the course of the year.

OJEN receives a three-year grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to deliver Youth-Police Dialogues in communities across the province.

The Newcomer Community Justice program is piloted with three different communities of newcomer youth in Toronto through funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. OJEN debuts a new series of high school teaching resources that complement CLEO’s Steps to Justice website.

OJEN conducts a small qualitative study for the Department of Justice Canada that explores the impact of serious legal problems on Black youth living in Toronto and Ottawa. Canadian Heritage provides funding to develop and deliver a Francophone Charter Challenge program: Défi de la Charte.

OJEN’s new Capacity Building and Engagement department is formed to coordinate all training for teachers, youth workers and legal volunteers. Funding from the Department of Justice Canada allows OJEN to develop and deliver a new public legal education program for youth in custody and on probation.

OJEN celebrates its 20th anniversary and launches a new four-year strategic plan.

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